The great outdoors

Our guide to the best summer fests

Well, the sun’s come out across UK today, so in a spirit of misplaced optimism, here’s a look forward to some of the best outdoor festivals for comedy fans this summer. The annual calendar is somewhat depleted, with Glastnobury in a fallow year and a couple of other notable absentees, perhaps fearful of the impact of the Olympics and the European Cup might have. Nonetheless, here are our top four for this summer. Don’t forget your wellies...

What: Apple Cart Festival

When: June 3

Where: Victoria Park, East London

Big names: Sean Lock, Phill Jupitus, Rich Hall

Also: Shappi Khorsandi, Josie Long, Josh Widdicombe, Seann Walsh, Charlie Baker, Suzi Ruffell, Bobby Mair

Other attractions: A convenient one-dayer for Londoners, musical acts include Adam Ant, Billy Bragg and Gaz Coombes – and there’s also cabaret, magic and kids’ attractions.

Adult tickets: A reasonable £35. Buy

What: Larmer Tree Festival

When: July 11-15

Where: Larmer Tree Gardens, near Salisbury, on the Wiltshire/Dorset border

Big names: Tim Minchin, Greg Davies, Milton Jones, Stephen K Amos, The Horne Section

Also: Terry Alderton, Zoe Lyons, Alun Cochrane, Carl Donnelly, Nick Helm, Roisin Conaty, Marcel Lucont, Naz Osmanoglu, Jimmy McGhie, Tom Craine, Paul McCaffrey, Daniel Simonsen, Comedy Club 4 Kids

Other attractions: An intimate festival with six stages and a 4,000 capacity, music acts this year include Paloma Faith, Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and the Levellers 

Weekend adult tickets: £190. Buy

What: Latitude

When: July 12-15

Where: Henham Park, Southwold, Sufforlk

Big names: Jack Dee, Tim Minchin, Greg Davies, Lee Nelson

Also: Reginald D Hunter, Rich Hall, Russell Kane, Andrew Maxwell, Mark Watson, Shappi Khorsandi, Josie Long, Phill Jupitus, Terry Alderton, Phil Nichol, Des Bishop, Charlie Baker, Frisky & Mannish, Josh Widdicombe, Carl Donnelly, Tony Law, Chris Cox, Tom Deacon, Jimmy McGhie, Nick Helm, Kerry Godliman, Katherine Ryan, Elis James, James Acaster, Mark Olver, Doc Brown, Holly Walsh, Abandoman, Tom Rosenthal

Other attractions: This is the big one for multi-arts – and comedy especially. Music headliners are Bon Iver, Elbow and Paul Weller; but there’s a wealth of other ‘arenas’ including cabaret, theatre, literature, poetry and kids

Weekend adult tickets: £175. Buy.

What: Camp Bestival

When: July 26-29

Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset

Big names: Jimmy Carr, Michael Winslow, Rufus Hound

Also: Andre Vincent, Andrew Maxwell, Ben Norris, Benny Boot, Eric Lampaert, Early Edition, George Egg, Ian Stone, Joel Dommett, Matt Forde, Paul McCaffrey, The Adventure Club

Other attractions: The reunited Happy Mondays headline on Sunday, while Saturday revives disco with Kool & The Gang, Chic and Earth Wind And Fire. Hot Chip headline Friday.

Weekend adult tickets: £185. Buy

Plus, for Londonders, there’s also the Greenwich Comedy Festival from July 13-20,featuring Dylan Moran, Sean Lock, Mark Watson and more; Ealing Comedy Festival over the same time, with headline acts including Terry Alderton, Rich Hall and Milton Jones; the Scimpylo Festival (it’s Olympics backwards) on Hackney Marshes from July 27 to August 12 with Moran, Jones, Alan Davies, Ardal O’Hanlon and more; and the usual wide range of delights at the Udderbelly on the South Bank until July 8.

Published: 22 May 2012

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